Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Degree

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

Department

Religious Studies

Committee Chair

John Schmalzbauer

Keywords

apostles, charismatic, Congregational Studies, ethnography, lived religion, New Apostolic Reformation, Pentecostalisms, pilgrimage, supernatural, third wave Pentecostalism

Subject Categories

American Popular Culture | Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | New Religious Movements | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Sociology of Religion

Abstract

Birthed out of the revival events of the 1990s, the New Apostolic Reformation is known for its charismatic leaders and provocative theology. As an emerging third wave Pentecostal movement, the New Apostolic Reformation is redefining the edifices of American Pentecostalism. While academics and journalists are currently focused on exposing the influence of some of its leaders such as C. Peter Wagner, Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, and Heidi Baker, there is little scholarship regarding the congregations and communities of believers who find themselves a part of this dynamic movement. This thesis takes a step towards understanding the larger story of the New Apostolic Reformation by first looking at the smaller stories of its congregations and adherents. By observing one faith community, Dayspring Church, a dynamic New Apostolic Reformation congregation in Springfield, Missouri, this study shows how the church structures itself around the act of pilgrimage. This new pilgrimage journey characterizes other congregations as well. Instead of traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to revival events, pilgrims need only find a local New Apostolic Reformation church. During the period of the study, Dayspring hosted nine different apostolic conferences, two of which were for the wildly influential New Apostolic Reformation leaders Randy Clark and Heidi Baker. To make sense of these events, this thesis uses the trope of pilgrimage to understand the supernaturalism celebrated by New Apostolic Reformation congregations and their pilgrims. Specifically, pilgrims to Dayspring have supernatural experiences (prophetic words, healings, visions, etc.), embrace new apostolic rhetoric, enroll in supernatural ministry schools, frequently attend localized revival conferences and learn to operate in their unique charismatic giftings. Ultimately, pilgrims to Dayspring undergo a transformative journey into becoming supernatural pilgrims.

Copyright

© Samuel Wayne Gingerich

Open Access

Share

COinS